Posts Tagged ‘memories’

My Christmas Moments

November 21, 2008



Every year I wait for it – I call it “my Christmas moment”.  Each year it is different, but it is always met with a sigh of relief, “Yes, this is what Christmas means to me…”

   …40 years ago it was walking miles all over town, in the freezing cold, with my best friend, delivering dime store Christmas gifts to our school friends…

   …One year it was when I was shopping on a small town’s Main Street, singing “Jingle Bells” to myself…I had just bought a favorite nephew an old fashioned felt cowboy hat that I knew he would love…

   …It happened the first year my niece and I were “fudge fairies” making Gramma’s fudge , with the special secret ingredient…

   …Another time it was reading about the Moomintrolls’ Fir Tree, how Christmas wasn’t about all the hurrying and scurrying so much as leaving gifts for others, even strangers, to enjoy, on a quiet winter’s eve…

   …Last year it was bringing my son and his grandma together again, for a meeting-despite-the-miles-apart…

…And this year it was re-reading Truman Capote’s “A Christmas Memory”, reminded of that wonderful story by my dear friends at Soul Food Café…It is almost “fruitcake weather” now – and I can hardly wait!


By Kerry Vincent © 2008



June 11, 2008

“Lie still and Daddy won’t hurt you,” says 84-year-old Ivylene, over and over again.  Memories of childhood abuse are part of her, like the cascade of wrinkles around her eyes and mouth.


Ivylene hid her pain for the greater part of a century, but when her defenses broke down at the Shadyville Nursing Home, “Lie still and Daddy won’t hurt you,” was the first thing she had to say.  What does it matter who knows now?  Ivylene had out-lived her father-abuser; he died at 49 of cirrhosis of the liver.  Her mother is also dead; she can no longer shame Ivylene, for telling strangers about the family secret.  She never even told her children, who could not understood why Mother was so nervous, why the least noise disturbed her sleep.


Maybe now, after all these wasted years of agony and silence and shame, Ivylene can confess her secret, and find a way to forgive herself for having been a helpless child.  If only someone would listen to the old lady and take her seriously.


Perhaps the stain is too deep, like the yellow on her fingers from decades of smoking.  She mutters to herself, and tries to be quiet, but when someone comes close to her bed, she yelps like a kicked beagle.


By Kerry Vincent © 1993